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Published: December 9th 2009
First blog and conscious not to make it too wordy or boastful of all the cool things we have seen and done (ok sorry) but feel free to send abuse and comments generally if it is, be great to hear from you too.
So, just over a month has passed since we left Blighty on a sunny but chilly November 2nd for an East African Adventure. Purpose of the trip was to start a GAP/Sabbatical from our careers to see some more of the world and make a small difference in some way…
Where we have been and brief highlights…
• Flew in to Dar es Salaam - what a shit hole, great start huh…
• Escaped for a week of chilling and enjoying the beauty of Zanzibar Island
• Back to Dar es Salaam and a fun but regrettable impromptu piss up in an Irish Bar with some friends we met on Zanzibar that made us sick for a week - Cue medical bag and the Imodium…
• Off to Mafia Island and Kilidoni to see Donna who is working with Frontier by teaching English at a secondary school and to other young people within the local community
who request it, constantly!
Many pictures from Donna on face book here and it was great being part of her community and playing Jungle Snap with the kids in the village and seeing how life is in this very basic community. In the teachers house where we stayed there was no running water, frequent power cuts, buckets for loos (fun when sick!) and generally as basic as the village. Good intro to African life.
It was the start of the short rainy season and it rained cats and dogs each day in Kilidoni as well as being very hot and humid. The other side of the island was much drier so we had a weekend in relative luxury at one of the nice Lodges and recovered from sickness.
• Spent a week on a small island called The Chole off Mafia sleeping in a mud hut and being completely integrated into the community. This was supposed to be an overnight visit which turned in to volunteering for the week by teaching approximately 50, age 4-6. Swahili speaking kids at the day Nursery. Was really fun. Gained massive respect to teachers out there, it is tiring!
• Flew back
to mainland and travelled up to Bigamy to spend the weekend- a historic place on the coast where a lot of the slave trade activity took place.
• Continued up the coast to Tanga via some more bumpy bus rides. Roads here are seriously bad, saw two fatal lorry accidents on the way. Regretted not trying harder to buy an old Landie in Dar.
Checked in to Mkoma Bay in Pangani for a night that turned in to five. Seems to be a theme. Lucky to have time on our side. Experienced white Africa and at times felt like being in the colonial past, especially after a Thanksgiving dinner with loads of ex-pats.
Spent some time with Valerie who is a lovely English lady doing some great work with a local NGO and Community Projects Africa at Choba Village running a new nursery and building an English medium Primary school.
• Back on the roller coaster bus and goodbye to the hot steamy coast to explore inland to Loshoto in the Usmbara Mountains to get some much needed training in for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a few weeks.
• Met Mrs Mwasha and friends to become involved with her
NGO called Our Children that deals with local Orphaned children affected by HIV/Aids.
Had a great time on bikes and a three day guided trek with Jackson through the lush rain forests, mountains and rural communities. Everyone so friendly and literally running to say hello to the Muzungu’s (white people, although we thought we were quite tanned by then!) Learnt quite a bit more Swahili from our guide too which is coming in useful.
• Now in to December - and well and truly shook off reliance on blackberry, mobile phones , calendars and time generally….what day is it today is a regular question. Headed up on most epic and torturous bus ride so far, 13 hours non stop and so bumpy and crowded. Stared at the whole journey by all as we were the only Muzungu’s on board.
Arrived in Arusha, the tourist capital of Tanzania as Safari’s and treks to Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru start here. Counting the days till the start of Kili climb and taking a life time trip to the Serengeti and Ngorongora Crater, one of the eight wonders of the World.
That’s all for now. Will update after the Kili climb
and if you can sponsor us for this and contribute to the projects we have seen in the communities in Mafia, Choba and Loshoto please click here and it would be gratefully received.
Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
- James & Rachel
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